The Champions Trophy semi-final between Indian and Bangladesh on Thursday from Birmingham appears to be one of those mismatches which cricket’s mini World Cup has a boring habit of throwing up.
The latter is a price worth taking. It may look like a formality but the same was said when Pakistan met South Africa, Sri Lanka challenged India and Bangladesh played New Zealand. The underdog won each of them.
Indeed, India’s slip against Sri Lanka will keep us warm and fuzzy as we consider this wager. The Indian batting never really got going and then their bowlers were wayward and uninspired when trying to defend.
Ordinarily, the great fear with India when you take them on is that their batting will fire. They have terrific individuals like Shikhar Dhawan, who could finish as top runscorer, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli but, oddly, they don’t post huge totals.
They have quite an old-fashioned approach to ODI where they start carefully, trying to build a platform for an assault. Often they are 100 shy of 300 with ten overs to go and although they get there, such a strategy could be risky against an exciting Bangladesh line-up.
The Banglas chased superbly against New Zealand, stunning them with a come-from-behind win. Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-al-Hasan are terrific players, too.
But where they may really have the edge is with the ball. And at a venue which has given assistance to bowlers this tournament.
The first-innings average score at the ground is 238 in the last 10 ODI which is a major shift from the norm for the rest of the world. There could be swing and seam.
This will suit a Bangladesh team who have a bowling attack as good as India’s. Mustafizur Rahman is one of the finest ODI bowlers in the world and his partner, Mashrafe Mortaza, one of the canniest.
Rahman is +400 to finish as top Bangladesh bowler. He is super-reliable in this market and arguably should be shorter. With the bat, Tamim is their Mr. Reliable and he is no slouch at +333 with Bet365.
For India, Mohammad Shami has been underrated on the top bowler market. We have him as the favorite instead of the +450 with Paddy Power, who rate him fifth best.Check & Compare The Best Rated Sportsbooks In SBR